Sun Safety

Do you know that direct UV rays can be hazardous?

According to multiple studies, UV radiation contributes to skin cancer later in life if you were overexposed and regularly had sunburns during your childhood or adolescence stages[1].

Parents have a very important role to ensure the health of their children when it comes to sun safety and protections. However, every child needs some sun exposure for vitamin D production, essential for formation structure of the bones and protection from certain immune diseases.

If parents adapt to sun-protective behaviors, their children will also do the same in the future[2].  Here are the most elaborate sun safety tips for children that will keep them healthier throughout their lifespan. These are the sun safety tips for children that will guarantee great results. Let me take you through different safety tips for toddlers, babies, and infants.


Sun Safety Tips for Infants

At the age of 0 to 6 months, children should be kept away from the sun. The skin of a newborn baby is too sensitive to any type of sunscreen. Infants possess very light skins with just a little melanin. Melanin is a skin pigment which gives color to the skin, eyes and even hair and also it acts as a buffer to direct sun rays. Here is what you need to do to ensure that your infant is protected from direct ultraviolet, especially when the UV Index is above 3.

  • Ensure that the baby is dressed in light clothing that covers both legs and arms.
  • Ensure you take walks during the early mornings or late in the evening; make sure you have a stroller with you to cover him or her from the sun.
  • Use a bonnet or a brimmed hat that offers shade to the baby’s face, ears and neck.
  • If you have to be in the car with your infant, make sure that the windows have a UV window shield protection. You can always install mesh window shields that don’t pass direct sun rays at your home.

Sun Safety Tips for Babies

The age of 6 to 12 months is a good time to start using the sunscreen designed for children's skin. Remember you have to be specific when it comes to sunscreen. There are types that are made for adults and babies as well. Here is how to apply it.

  • First of all, make sure you apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your baby will be exposed to the sun.
  • Apply the sunscreen to areas that are exposed directly, this may include the face, arms, and legs.
  • Lastly, make sure if you are using a spray sunscreen, you don’t spray it directly on the babies face, you can always use your hands to apply it carefully.



Sun Safety Tips for Toddlers

Though at the ages of 1 to 3 years, the toddler's immune system is as strong as their skin pigment, sun protection is still required. It’s always important to use your knowledge when it comes to direct sun exposure protection and this can be done by the following:

  • Ensure that your kid wears sunglasses on a sunny day.
  • Make sure your child is in the shade most of the times when he or she is playing.
  • Ensure that your kid dresses in comfortable clothes that cover most of the body. Cotton is highly recommended.

It doesn’t require too much effort and planning to protect your kids from direct UV radiation. A few steps can be put into consideration and your children will be safe.

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1. Meg Watson, MPH, Dawn M. Holman, MPH, and Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, MSN, RN. Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure and Its Impact on Skin Cancer Risk. HHS Public Access, NCBI. 2016.

2. Zoe Littlewood and Sheila Greenfield. Parents’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding sun protection in children: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health. NCBI. 2018

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